Juliet Escoria

March 9, 2006
Encinitas, CA

He told me he would stop giving me pills when my eyes started watering when I woke up. He said this was a sure sign of addiction. My eyes have been watering for a month at least but he hasn’t noticed, or if he has he hasn’t said anything yet.

He lives in the garage at his mother’s house. It is a separate building and soundproofed, so even though it’s at his mother’s house there is more privacy than at my apartment, so most nights we sleep here. It is always dark when we wake up because there are no windows, and I look at this as something positive.

We have to go into his mother’s house to get coffee. Because of this, I have to wait for him to get up. Last night I couldn’t sleep and I’m especially tired. He takes a long time to get fully awake. He, like me, always does it slow. He’s the kind of person who you shouldn’t talk to in the mornings until he’s good and ready. I forget this today, and soon we are arguing.

“Look at your eyes!” he screams at me. “Watering like a fucking junky.”

I don’t think about the fact that if I am a junky, then he is really a junky. I don’t think anything logical like that. Instead, something in me snaps, and I am throwing things, CD cases and the wine bottles from the night before, and the wine bottles from the night before that, and they are all exploding against the wall, pop pop pop. He grabs my shoulder to get me to stop. He doesn’t mean to be rough, but his fingers are rough anyway because of how I am moving. His fingers feel the way they used to with the boyfriend who was two boyfriends before him, the one I had to get a restraining order against, and the strength behind the fingertips splinters something and suddenly I am on my back nearly choking, and everything is evil, and I am dying, and I can’t feel my legs or my arms.

“Breathe,” he says, and strokes my hair. I want to swat him away but I can’t. He puts a Xanax between my fingertips and I take it to my mouth and chew it up and soon everything slows down enough for me to see straight again.